Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:
● It’s obscene that President Barack Obama’s “special master on compensation” is ordering pay cuts averaging 50 percent for the 25 most highly paid executives at seven firms taking bailouts. Next they’ll order said executives to stay put. And then to order talented executives to work for them. Government goes where it’s destined to do no good. This is pandering to the cheap seats.
● The last Depression brought us the Hoover Hog. This one will bring us the Obama Dollar — currency made worthless by deficits and printing-press spending.
● Headline: “Georgia often sneers as Atlanta struggles.” I’ve never known other state officials to be less inclined to sneer. Except for the local politics of an isolated burg — and I can’t identify one — there’s no political gain in bashing Atlanta. Most Georgians are too consumed with their own troubles. Besides, metro Atlanta’s where most of their children have gone. What they hate about Atlanta is the traffic.
● Well, certainly, the lawyer for executed murderer Mark McClain has a point. Murders in “cases involving far more horrendous facts have escaped even the prospect of being sentenced to death because prosecutors don’t seek it,” said lawyer Brian Kammer. Atlanta courthouse killer Brian Nichols lives. Moral of this story: Not everybody who deserves the death penalty gets it.
● A “Passenger Bill of Rights” that would require airlines to provide food, water and bathrooms to passengers stranded on the tarmac and would limit most waits to three hours awaits congressional action. Not every problem or inconvenience in life requires a legislative solution. Don’t fly airlines you regard as inconsiderate of passengers. We are in an age where people think the courts or Congress exists to punish those who displease us.
● A news and commentary staple of the federal pork-barrel spending programs represented as economic stimulus is that members of Congress who voted against it line up to ask for a piece of the pie. Georgia’s two senators are reported as asking that $50 million be steered to a bioenergy project in Georgia. The underlying premise is that they had not paid the political price for bringing forth the $787 billion “stimulus” bill, so they are hypocritical for asking for the candy. Nonsense. If the spending is to aid America’s recovery — stated but debatable — it should go throughout America, not just to reward politicians for increasing the deficit.
● No question the “stimulus” keeps some on the public-sector payroll. The White House claims 250,000 education jobs were saved or created. The value of a downturn is that it forces public officials to identify the bloat and to get more efficient. Federal money keeps them from having to do that.
● No downturn for public and private colleges. Public college tuition and fees are up an average of 6.5 percent; it’s 4.4 at private four-year colleges. The good news, The Washington Post reports, is that most “do not pay full price.” Grants take care of more than half the expenses at private colleges and the bulk of public college costs. Nobody cares what things cost when somebody else pays.
● Former President Jimmy Carter, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, believes Barack Obama deserved his. Who would have thought he’d say otherwise?
● Good for them. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine has expelled the fertility doctor who aided in the creation of eight children born to an unmarried woman. Dr. Michael Kamrava engaged in a “pattern of behavior” harmful to the industry, the group found.
● Should the state run MARTA, as suggested by Rep. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody). No. Never. Nor the airport, nor the water and sewer system, nor any other local-government function. The state has debt capacity and therefore access to money, but no expertise. The state should coordinate to make certain transportation services are seamless. That’s all.